Freelance Graphic Designer
I'm a freelance graphic designer living in the North End of Halifax, with my partner and our dog, Indy. I grew up in Sydney on Cape Breton Island, where a majority of my clients remain. I really enjoy working with new small business in the communities where I grew up. I coordinate a monthly local meet-up for creatives, entrepreneurs and small business called Tuesday's Together as part of the Rising Tide Society where people come together to learn and support one another. I'm also eating hoof prints ice cream from the bucket while trying to form full sentences (sun brain?! in this heatwave!)
What if any boundaries do you have in place for your creative time?
Since I work for myself, I consider it essential that I take evenings and weekends off. Occasionally I’ll work an evening if I need to but turning my brain off at 5pm helps my everyday mood. In addition to this, I try hard to maintain a consistent sleep schedule because that directly affects my focus during the day.
How does your creativity impact other areas of your life?
I think when creativity is part of your job every day there has to be other creative outlets to satisfy the need to make and experiment. If I have a rough day I look forward to making a simple, well-cooked meal and I enjoy being creative in the kitchen. It also takes all my focus so I need to turn my brain off from work. For me, having other creative outlets takes off a bit of pressure from focusing so much on ‘perfecting’ my skills in one area.
Do you have any experience with burnout? How did you or are you overcoming this?
Welll… I quit my job and moved to the other side of the world to freelance.
I wouldn’t recommend that to everyone but it was something I knew I needed and had been thinking about for quite a long time. After some severe burnout, I approached any issue I had a bit more analytically in that I asked myself, “What is the cause of this problem?” “What can I do right now to fix it or make it better?” Most times the answer is rest, or reaching out to friends or family. I think intentions always have to come back to ‘what matters most, to me’ because it’s very easy to get caught up in what ‘we think we should be.’
Refilling Your Creative Cup:
Drawing, painting, photography, and whatever I get my hands on. Lately I have a big interest in home decor and architecture so consuming and learning about that makes me feel excited and inspired.
I use Instagram as my online community by sharing parts of my life and business and think of it more as a conversational community space than just a social platform. This spring I took over running the community group Tuesday’s Together which is serving as a wonderful way to connect and support local creative entrepreneurs in the Halifax area.
Nature and time Outdoors:
Being outside every day has become a necessary part of life for me. Having a dog that needs walking means it does happen most days. I'm a big day dreamer and walking allows any stress, ideas, or anything else to have space and work itself out.
What is something you have always wanted to try?
What do the words "creative power" mean to you?
Creative Power to me means the magical feeling when you’re truly expressing an idea, or yourself in any form. I’ll call it the ‘flow’ which I don’t think really happens that often. Most times I need to sit down and force myself to be creative, even if it’s for fun. To sit down and draw because I know I enjoy it - even if nothing particularly interesting comes from it. The act feels more important and powerful than the result.
Who inspires you artists? coaches? speakers? authors? people in your personal life?
Most definitely women in my personal life. The extra love, gentle push and ability to be open is what helps me take risks when I’m unsure. Artists, go-getters, writers, poets, gardeners, and most creative endeavours inspire me when someone is really devoted to their craft.
What advice to you have for someone struggling with creative blocks?
If you have time, take the break. Or try something different. Definitely take pause. I think creative blocks are more than normal and necessary parts of living a creative life.
Something to Read - Motherhood by Sheila Heti
Something to Watch - Abstract: The Art of Design, on Netflix
Something to Listen to - I’ve had this instrumental on a lot lately. I love it
Something to Make - A short list of what fills you up when you’re feelin’ down
*Thanks for all the great photos Jacquie!! <3